A friend of mine referred me to this article recently:
Perhaps some of you have heard of this man or of the FLDS before. I had not and find this rather scary. It is interesting how life throws little themes at you every now and then, though. This article is yet another in a stream of random encounters with cult religions I have been having recently. It started a couple of weeks ago with a case we debated in my medical ethics class regarding Jehova's Witnesses and their refusal of blood products. This sparked an interesting debate about the lines between religious devotion and psychologic delusion. Since then, this stuff has been rearing its head everywhere. Given the population of BJU grads posting here I am curious as to your thoughts on this matter. Can we declare one religion to be inherently less sensical than another? Is there a line someone can cross at which point their religious beliefs are considered absurd? What is more important, the doctrine or its implementation? In medical school we tend to believe patients have the right to make their own decisions about healthcare unless they are considered to be incapacitated to do so. In general we don't see refusal of blood products on religious grounds to be incapacity. But what about stranger beliefs? What about Christian Scientists who refuse all medical care? Or scientologists who believe they can heal themselves with thetan energy? Or Raelians who want to get in touch with the alien race that cloned humans? Can I segregate these beliefs on their merits and refer one for psychiatric treatment while granting the wishes of the other? Do I draw the line only when ones religious beliefs bring harm to another, like with the FLDS or fundamentalist sects of Islam? If so, am I obligated to fight against the religion that gave birth to the crime, or those who perpetrated the crime alone?